Kochi: The Police on Friday claimed in the Kerala High Court that the nature and gravity of the accusations against actor Dileep and the others, who allegedly conspired to eliminate officers probing the sexual assault of an actress in 2017, and their conduct disentitle them for grant of anticipatory bail.
In rebuttal, the actor claimed that he and the others answered all the questions put to them by the police during the 11 hour long interrogation on each of the 3 days and only refused to give a confession which was being construed as non-cooperation.
The arguments were made during the hearing of the anticipatory bail pleas of Dileep and the others in the FIR accusing them of threatening and conspiring to eliminate the officers investigating the 2017 case.
After hearing both sides, Justice Gopinath P said he will pronounce order in the matter on February 7.
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The police, opposing the anticipatory bail pleas of the actor and the other accused in the latest case, argued that the probe in the matter has been ”virtually paralysed” due to their non-cooperation.
The Director General of Prosecution (DGP) T A Shaji and additional public prosecutor (APP) P Narayanan, who represented the police, contended that there was ”overwhelming” material to indicate commission of the offence they are accused of.
They also argued that their police or judicial custody was necessary as the probe in the latest case was at the initial stage, there was possibility of influencing of the witnesses and there was need to insulate the society from such persons.
They alleged that there was evidence that witnesses had been influenced in the actress’ assault case by the accused and added that the actor and others were trying to sabotage the probe and delay the same.
”They have money and muscle power and they used it to try and sabotage the other case (actress assault case). They have the capability to sabotage the trial and the investigation,” the DGP claimed.
The DGP and APP told the court that its interim order protecting the accused from arrest during pendency of these proceedings was the reason behind their non-cooperation with the investigation and contended that the protective relief ought not to have been granted.
They further argued that if any relief is granted to the accused in this case, public faith in the system would be eroded.
”They (accused) have tried to put spokes in the wheels of the legal process. Any delay in the probe would be beneficial to them,” the DGP alleged.
The arguments by the DGP came a day after Dileep’s lawyers had contended before the high court that the latest case against him and others was a ”manufactured complaint” and a ”complete imagination” of the police.
Responding to the police allegations of non-cooperation, Dileep’s lawyers, in rebuttal, argued that they only refused to give a confession as sought by the officers and apart from that they answered all the questions put to them.
The actor’s lawyers — senior advocate B Raman Pillai and advocates Philip T Varghese and Thomas T Varghese — told the high court that police had interrogated the accused for 11 hours on each of the three days – January 23, 24 and 25 — and they had answered all the questions put to them.
The actress-victim, who has worked in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films, was abducted and allegedly molested in her car for two hours by some of the accused, who had forced their way into the vehicle on the night of February 17, 2017 and later escaped in a busy area. The entire act was filmed by some of the accused to blackmail the actress.
There are 10 accused in the case and police have arrested seven. Dileep was arrested subsequently and released on bail.